The effectiveness and evidence of ante-natal perineal massage: A study from Spain

Title: Update on the effectiveness and evidence of ante-natal perineal massage

This publication from Spain discusses the need for strategies to reduce perineal trauma caused during vaginal delivery, especially the use of prenatal perineal massage, a proposed technique to increase the elasticity of the perineum, and consequently reduce damage to the pelvic floor. They conducted a literature review to discover the effectiveness findings and the scientific evidence that supports the use of perineal massage in the weeks before labor. Multiple databases were used including The Medline, Cochrane, Tripdatabase and Cuiden. The databases consulted covered the six years running up to the study in both Spanish and English-language publications. Ten studies with different levels of evidence were found and used in their analysis. All the studies favored the use of perineal massage.

The authors concluded that although further research is needed, according to current evidence using a prenatal perineal massage during late pregnancy can reduce perineal trauma during childbirth, especially in first-time pregnancies, as well as reduce postpartum pain in women who have not previously had a baby.

Citation: Update on the effectiveness and evidence of ante-natal perineal massage]. An Sist Sanit Navar. 2021 Dec 27;44(3):437-444. Spanish. doi: 10.23938/ASSN.0976. 

Link to the publication abstract

How to prevent and repair obstetric tears

Title: Obstetric Lacerations: Prevention and Repair

The authors reviewed obstetric lacerations that are a common complication of vaginal delivery. These lacerations may cause chronic pain and urinary and fecal incontinence. The claim that perineal massage in the third trimester can reduce lacerations in women who are pregnant for the first time. Additionally, perineal support, perineal massage and warm compresses during the second stage of labor can reduce injury to the anal sphincter.

Citation: Am Fam Physician. 2021 Jun 15;103(12):745-752.

Link to the publication


41-article review of non-pharmacological techniques in pregnancy and childbirth

Title: Non-pharmacological therapies applied in pregnancy and labor: an integrative review

The authors of this study reviewed the literature available of non-pharmacological therapies during pregnancy and labor. The did this by searching any literature published since 2008 in English, Spanish, and Portuguese databases. Overall, 41 articles were analyzed. They divided the articles into 10 categories: massage, perineal massage, hot bath, supportive care, childbirth preparation group, breathing techniques, pelvic floor exercises, transcutaneous electrostimulation, Swiss ball and spontaneous pushing. Six articles showed that when these techniques were used the mother experienced less pain in labor. All the article showed a positive outcome for different variables of labor, such as reduction of time, anxiety and pelvic floor laceration rates.

Citation: Rev Esc Enferm USP 2021 Apr 16;55:e03681. doi: 10.1590/S1980-220X2019019703681. eCollection 2021.

Link to the publication

September 04, 2021